Company Hand Book
Welcome to Giambrone Law ILP.
Giambrone Law ILP is a broad-based, progressive and modern law firm with a strong team of lawyers and a reputation for delivering high calibre legal services.
We want to aim to be the law firm of choice. We want to provide you with excellent terms and conditions and a happy and healthy working environment, as well as opportunities for training and professional development throughout your time with us.
We understand that people have different needs and we promote a culture of equal opportunity and mutual respect.
This handbook provides you with summary of the policies and procedures, in conjunction with your offer of employment, that the Firm operates. Due to the changing needs of the Firm as well as changes in legislation we reserve the right to introduce changes to our policies and procedures, any changes made are subject to reasonable notice.
It is your responsibility to read the handbook and familiarise yourself with its contents.
Failure to comply with these policies / procedures could result in disciplinary action.
The term â€˜Firmâ€™ refers exclusively to Giambrone Law ILP, an Italian Law Firm regulated by the Italian Bar Council.
EMPLOYEE / CONSULTANCY HANDBOOK
Contract of Employment / Consultancy
Your offer is subject to satisfactory references, and satisfactory completion of a three or six month probationary period, from your start date. However, if we feel your performance is unsatisfactory we may extend your probationary period.
Should you have any questions about our offer please contact the Human Resources Department.
The following, outlines the terms of our offer. If you accept this offer, you will receive an up to date employee handbook, which together will form your contract with the Firm.
Remuneration and Benefits
Remunerations are paid monthly in arrears and will be paid directly into your chosen bank / building society.
You will not be eligible for payment of any bonus if you are working your notice or have left the Firm when the bonus payment is due.
There is no entitlement to pay in respect to unauthorised absence.
Salaries are reviewed annually in December at the Firmâ€™s discretion. This does not guarantee a pay increase.
If you join or leave the firm mid month your pay will be calculated with reference to the number of your normal working days for which you have worked.
Tax and other deductions
Tax contributions and any other statutory payments will be the responsibility of the Consultants but for the employees these deducted from their pay on a regular basis. Other deductions that may be made from your salary, to which you hereby consent, to cover monies that you may owe Giambrone Law ILP – such as advances, overpayments or other payment that may have been made in error.
Additional Hours / Overtime
In many cases there is no entitlement to paid overtime.
You may be entitled to take hours / days in lieu for time worked outside of your usual hours, when required to do so by Management. Any lieu hours / days must be taken within two months of accrual and must be authorised by management.
Hours of Work
Employees and contractors are expected to attend work punctually at the hours defined in their contract of employment. Prior approval from their manager is required if employees or consultants wish to leave the Firm’s premises during working hours except during lunch breaks. You are entitled to 60 minutes unpaid lunch break. Lunch breaks should be taken between 12.30pm and 2.30pm.
We are aware of the Working Time Regulations 1998 (WTR) and will ensure our compliance.
The Firm’s policy is to meet all reasonable expenditure incurred whilst conducting the Firm’s business and claimed following the expense procedures and using the expenses form attaching all receipts. Reimbursements will be made by the Firm once approved by the Management.
Abuse of claim expenses will be regarded as a disciplinary offence which may result in dismissal or
cancellation of contract.
The Firm has the right to recover expense amounts previously over claimed from future expense claims. In the case of employees or consultants leaving the Firm, the Firm has the right to recover any over claim from final salary payments.
Your normal place of work is stated in your letter of employment; however you may find yourself working at a different office or client site.
Our holiday year runs from 1 January to 31 December. You are entitled to 25 days paid annual holiday calculated pro-rata full time. Your annual leave should not exceed 10 consecutive working days. You may not carry holiday to the following holiday year. Any holiday entitlement not taken prior to 31 December will be lost and can not be carried forward into the following yearsâ€™ entitlement, unless prior authorisation is given by the Senior Partner or Practice Director.
For part time contractors and employees, the calculation of holiday is according to the following table.
Complete months remaining in holiday year
Days worked per week
18. 16 14
12. 10 8
13.7 12.5 11 5
16.5 14. 13 11. 10 5
5 10 9
3. 2 5
7.5 6. 5
3.75 2. 1.
3. 3 5
When you wish to take any holiday, please complete the form on the staff area of giambronelaw.com. (http://www.giambronelaw.com/go/secret.php) Once your dates have been agreed you will be notified so please wait for this notification before booking flights etc. It may not always be possible to grant your holiday request.
In additional to this you may receive the normal public holidays at the discretion of the Firm. If you are part-time or start mid year these entitlements will be pro-rated based on the hours/days worked.
If you abuse holiday arrangements disciplinary action may result.
If you have given or received notice you may be allowed or required to take holiday during your notice period. We will try and approve holiday requests during a notice period wherever possible. However, this may not always be possible, due to workloads and handing over your current work. Please note we do have the right to refuse request for leave at this time.
On leaving, if you have not taken your holidays, you not be paid in lieu of any outstanding holidays that you have accrued. However if you have taken more holidays than your pro-rata entitlement, you herby consent to Giambrone Law ILP deducting from your final pay any monies due to the Firm in respect of the excess number of holiday days taken.
Time Keeping and Absence
Time recording is an important way of establishing how many hours you have worked. Time should be recorded accurately and honestly, your time card should be used solely by you to record your own time. Misuse of your time card will result in disciplinary action.
If you are ill and cannot attend work you must:
Telephone the office, preferably before your shift starts, or at the latest by 10am on the first day of absence and explain why you are unable to attend work. Notification by text is unacceptable.
You should indicate the likely length of your absence in order that your work may be reorganised, and bring to your manager’s attention any client commitments and work outstanding;
You must keep in contact with the receptionist on a regular basis if you are sick for more than one day. If you are too ill to communicate with Giambrone Law ILP you are required to nominate an individual with whom Giambrone Law ILP can communicate;
Arrange for someone else to call on your behalf if you are unable to do so and then make contact with us as soon as you are able to;
On your first day back to work, you must complete the absence form contained in the staff area of giambronelaw.com;
Provide a doctor’s certificate signed by your GP or hospital doctor, certifying your anticipated period of absence if you are sick for more than 3 consecutive days, including Saturday and Sunday. The Firm reserves the right to request you to produce a medical certificate for shorter periods of absence.
Sickness can be open to abuse in some circumstances, so you may, in the interests of both the firm and yourself be required to take steps in addition to, or in place of those above in exception situations. This may include but are not limited to sickness absence during notice period, and during disciplinary and grievance investigations and processes. The steps required may include gaining a doctor’s certificate for absences less than seven days, maintaining a regular contact regime or co-operating with a prompt medical investigation.
Any abuse of the sickness absence procedure, will, be viewed as a disciplinary matter.
The following absence will be treated as authorised absence from work providing they have been approved in advance in accordance with Giambrone Law ILP’s procedures:
Annual leave or time of in lieu of overtime; Sickness absence; Medical or dental appointments; Unpaid leave; Maternity / Adoption and Paternity leave; Parental leave; Special leave; Public service; Jury service; Study leave; and Reserve forces
Any other absence from work will be considered as unauthorised and may lead to disciplinary action. There is no entitlement to pay in respect of unauthorised absences.
If you wish to terminate your employment, please give notice of your resignation to your Line Manager / Practice Director. You should confirm your resignation in writing. You are obliged to give Giambrone Law ILP and to receive from the Firm the period of notice set out in your contract of employment.
You will not be eligible for payment of your bonus if you are working your notice or have left the Firm when the bonus payment is due.
Whilst working your notice you continue to be bound by the terms and condition set out herein and
the confidentiality agreements you are required to have signed and any other restrictive covenants set out in your contract of employment.
The Companyâ€™s aim is to ensure that all of its employees, contractors and job applicants are treated equally irrespective of disability, race, colour, religion, nationally, ethnic origin, age, sex, sexual orientation or marital status.
All employees/consultants have a duty both morally and legally not to discriminate against individuals. This means that the firm will not tolerate any form of discrimination on account of any of the above fore mentioned. Employees/consultants have personal responsibility for the practical application of the Firmâ€™s Equal Opportunities Policy which also extends to the treatment of members of the public.
The Firm shall appoint, train, develop and promote on the basis of merit and ability.
If you believe that you have been discriminated against, harassed or bullied by another employee, or a client you should speak to your HR contact or line manager. Where the matter will be dealt with in confidence. The grievance procedure is also available to any employee who believes that he or she may have been unfairly treated.
Disciplinary action under the disciplinary procedure shall be taken against any employee who is found to have committed an act of unlawful discrimination. Discriminatory conduct and sexual or racial harassment shall be regarded as gross misconduct.
If you have any doubt about appropriate treatment and the Companyâ€™s Equal Opportunities Policy, employees should consult Human Resources Department or their Line Manager.
Eligibility to work in the United Kingdom, Italy and Europe
The Firm requires documentary evidence to show that you are entitled to work in the location you are posted to.
The Firm is committed to the continuous development of all its employees and consultants. It is vital that employees/consultants possess the skills and knowledge to enable them to perform their duties effectively. Development needs should be discussed with your line manager as and when a need arises or reviewed on an annual basis.
The Firm may in its absolute discretion provide financial assistance for external training courses which have relevance to the employeeâ€™s current or likely future duties with the Firm. If the employee leaves within six months of having completed the training, 100% of the fees will be repayable to the Firm.
The Firm will normally fund all training courses associated with gaining CPD hours. However, if an employee/consultant is dismissed for gross misconduct, all fees incurred by the Firm will be fully repayable by the employee/consultant.
Law Society Fees
The Consultant lawyers will be responsible for the payment of the membership fees to the Law Society.
Where the firm has made a contribution towards the Law Society Membership and the contract is terminated by the employee/consultant for any reason, or the employee is dismissed for gross misconduct, the membership fees will be repayable to Giambrone Law ILP calculated on a pro-rata basis.
Appearance / Attire
Employees/Consultants are expected to maintain a good standard of personal hygiene and to dress appropriately when they attend the office, or for any activities related to work with Giambrone Law ILP to their job responsibilities. The general dress code policy is smart. For example; suits, or smart trousers, shirt and tie for male employees. Smart suits, or skirt, trousers, dresses and blouse or shirt for female employees. No trainers or flip flops should be worn.
Any form of body piercing should be kept discreet.
Alcohol and Drugs
The use and abuse of alcohol and drugs is not permitted on the Firmâ€™s premises at any time. No employee/consultant should report to work whilst under the influence of alcohol or drugs. You are expected to familiarise yourself with the Alcohol and Drug policy as breaching it, in serious cases may amount to dismissal.
Our offices in the United Kingdom and Italy have a complete no smoking policy in line with legislation. Smoking on Company premises is prohibited. Employees who do not comply with this policy disciplinary action may result.
In the United Kingdom, the Data Protection Act 1998 regulates the use of personal information or data that is maintained in connection with employees/consultants, whether in hard or electronic forms.
In Italy, there are similar rules governed by D.Lgs. n. 196/2003.
Giambrone Law ILP maintains records of all employees to ensure that we comply with statutory and regulatory obligations as well as to enable us accurately to maintain an employment record and to administer HR processes, payroll and administrative processes.
The term â€˜processingâ€™ may include the Firm obtaining, recording or holding the information or date or carrying out any set of operation or operations on the information or data, including organising, altering, retrieving, consulting, using, disclosing or destroying the information or data.
Company will adopt appropriate technical and organisation measures to prevent the unauthorised or unlawful processing or disclosure of data.
The Firmâ€™s Property
We retain the right to demand the return of any property at any time. On leaving the Firm you must ensure that all original documents and copies belonging to the Firm or related to its business and clients are returned. You must also return mobile phone, laptop and all other computer hardware or software, any written and training material, credit cards, keys, security passes and any other property belonging to Giambrone Law ILP. You may also be requested to disclose your computer passwords in order that access can be gained to any data.
Clear Desk Policy
You are required to adhere to a clear desk. This requires you to ensure that your desk and working area whether in the office, at a client site or any remote location, are kept clear of all client and confidential related material including laptops etc.
Independence is an essential characteristic for a profession. Your attitude must characterise one of both integrity and an objective approach to professional work.
Giambrone Law ILP indemnifies employees/consultants against any claims arising out of work carried out as an employee of the Firm, which have been carried out in accordance with the Firm’s procedures.
This is your responsibility to know on condition that:
You promptly notify the Senior Partner and Practice Director of any such claim upon becoming aware it; You do not admit liability or settle or compromise or attempt to settle or compromise, any such claim; You act in accordance with our reasonable instructions and give us such assistance as we may reasonable require, in respect to the conduct of the defence;
The indemnity will not include:
Any liabilities in respect of which any amount has been or will be reimbursed by way of insurance;
Fine levied against you personally through any disciplinary proceedings; or
Any liabilities in respect of any claims, costs expenses or penalties arising from or in connection with any act or omission in bad faith, or dishonest conduct or criminal conduct on your part.
‘Confidential information’ is any information / materials relating to Giambrone Law ILP, it’s clients, suppliers, including but limited to, business and prospective business information, computer software, system information, inventions and any business of Giambrone Law ILP that comes in to your possession by the virtue that you are employed by Giambrone Law ILP, oral, written form or electronic or information not marked ‘confidential’.
You may only copy, disclose or use confidential information as necessary to carry out Giambrone Law ILP business and, where applicable, as required or authorised under the terms of any agreement between Giambrone Law ILP and its clients, licensors and suppliers.
If you are ever asked to disclose any confidential information regarding to any legal, judicial, administrative governmental or regulatory process or otherwise you must contact a Partner or Senior Partner to seek consent prior to any such disclosure.
You must immediately inform the Senior Partner if you discover that the use of confidential information is in the hands of an unauthorised person. You will be required to assist in dealing with such event.
These confidentiality restrictions are permanent and do not cease upon your departure from Giambrone Law ILP.
You are required to sign various confidentiality agreements.
â€˜Intellectual Property Rightsâ€™ means copyrights, database rights, patents, trade marks, trade names, design rights, rights in unfair competition, rights in confidential information, trade or company names, internet domain names and email addresses and any other intellectual property rights, whether unregistered or registered.
If you discover, create or become aware of any new intellectual property you must promptly disclose and deliver to the Senior Partner full details of any information, data, etc., and assist Giambrone Law ILP to exploit the intellectual property to the best advantage.
All employees/consultants share Giambrone Law ILPâ€™s obligation to comply with money
laundering legislation and can be held individually accountable for any breach of the regulations, which includes failing to properly identify clients, assisting a money launderer or failing to report a suspicion of money laundering in a timely manner. The latter two are both criminal offences which carry significant custodial sentences. Reporting suspicions of money laundering must be made to the senior partner.
The disciplinary system has been designed to provide employees with every opportunity to explain the circumstances surrounding any breach of the Firm’s rules and is essentially intended to give employees/consultants the opportunity to conform to the standards of conduct and performance set out by the Company. Consequently, where the facts of a case warrant disciplinary action being taken against an employee, it is the intention that such action be seen as remedial rather than punitive.
Disciplinary action may be taken only when the facts of the situation warrant it. Persistent breaches of the same or similar rules may lead to progressively more serious action being taken and ultimately dismissal.
Prior to any disciplinary action, an investigation will be conducted into the circumstances of the alleged offence or problem.
Dependent upon the seriousness of the offence, disciplinary action may take one of the following forms:
A verbal warning, which will be recorded within the employee’s personnel file for a period of six months and confirmed to the employee in writing.
A first written warning, which will be recorded within the employee’s personnel file for a period of 12 months and confirmed to the employee in writing.
A final written warning, which will be recorded within the employee’s personnel file for a period of 12 months and confirmed to the employee in writing advising the employee that further breaches of rules could lead to dismissal.
Dismissal, with or as in the cases of Gross Misconduct, without a period of notice.
For employees/consultants in their probationary period or first year of employment with the Company, only one warning may be given prior to dismissal.
The Firm reserves the right to suspend employees/consultants from work whether with or without pay in appropriate circumstances.
Before any decision is made regarding a disciplinary matter, employees will normally, but not always, be given:
A letter setting out the complaint against them and inviting them to a disciplinary hearing explaining the possible outcome;
The right to be accompanied at the hearing by a work place colleague or a Trade Union Official;
The right of reply throughout the hearing to any allegations made against them.
If disciplinary action is imposed, all employees can expect to receive written confirmation detailing:
The complaint and facts that the decision was based on;
The timescales issued for rectification;
The possible consequences should an employee fail to reach the desired standard in the required timescales;
The right to appeal (please see separate Appeals Procedure).
Each stage of the procedure will be administered by the appropriate manager within the Company.
In extreme cases of serious Gross Misconduct (e.g. physical injury, where there may be an ongoing risk of harm), the Firm reserves the right to utilise the modified statutory dismissal procedure, where summary dismissal may be applicable. The employee/consultant will receive a summary statement of the reasons why they have been dismissed.
The following are examples of Gross Misconduct and as such may render employees/consultants liable to summary dismissal (i.e. dismissal without notice). This list is not exhaustive.
Fighting, physical assault or dangerous horseplay.
Failure to carry out a reasonable instruction during working hours.
Gross insubordination or the use of aggressive behaviour or excessive bad language on Firm premises, or towards clients/colleagues, or on any occasion whilst performing job duties.
Theft, wilful damage or negligence that leads to damage to property belonging to the Company, its clients or suppliers or other employees.
Fraud or any other offence committed against the Firm or customers, which could be a breach of the law of the land.
Drunkenness or drug abuse.
Gross immorality or sexual harassment.
Breach of safety rules and/or actions that seriously endanger the health or safety of another person whilst at work.
Divulging to any persons any confidential information relating to the Firm’s business processes or clients.
Wilful or reckless overcharging and undercharging of customers.
Deliberate falsification of records.
Serious breach of payment procedures or purchase rules.
Unauthorised access to or use of Firm correspondence, computer data or manual files.
Unlawful race, sex or disability discrimination against fellow employees or customers.
Gross breach of the Firm’s Internet and electronic mail policy.
Employees who have a grievance with the Firm relating to any aspect of their employment/contract should in the first instance, wherever possible, discuss it at any time with their line manager.
If the grievance is not satisfactorily resolved in informal discussions, employees have a duty to state in writing to the Human Resources Department stating the full details of their grievance, in confidence.
A formal meeting will then be arranged as soon as possible, normally within ten days. Following which written confirmation of the outcome will be forwarded to the employee within twenty-eight days of the grievance being received.
Employees/Consultants have a duty to make all reasonable attempts to attend any meeting arranged.
Employees may appeal against any disciplinary action brought against them, or the outcome of a grievance, by requesting an appeal in writing within five working days of receiving the confirmation letter.
Where an appeal is made against disciplinary action, including dismissal, the appeal will be conducted by a manager or director not previously involved in the matter and wherever possible will be of a higher grade than the original manager.
Where an appeal is made against a grievance outcome, the appeal will be conducted by a Board Director, who had not previously been involved in the original decision.
Appeals will be held as quickly as possible but in any event will be normally carried out within five working days of the appeal being received.
Once an appeal has been heard, a decision will be made and confirmed, normally in writing within forty-eight hours.
Once you have appealed once against a decision imposed and received that decision in writing, there will be no further right of appeal.
Health and Safety
The Firm recognises that it is responsible for ensuring, so far as is reasonably practicable, the health, safety and welfare at work of its employees/consultants.
The Firm believes that pro-active
management health and safety issues are an integral part of its obligations to its employees and to the wider community. The policy statement sets out in broad terms the legal responsibilities owed by the Firm and by employees in relation to health and safety issues. It will only be possible for the Firm to comply with these legal obligations if both its employees and any self-employed third parties on the Firmâ€™s premises understand that they are under a duty to take reasonable care for the health and safety of themselves and any of their colleagues who may be affected by their acts or omissions and that they are required to cooperate with the Firm to enable the Firm to perform its obligations.
All accidents must be reported in the accident book, soon after the incident.
You have a legal obligation to comply with our Health and Safety policy and failure to do so may be a disciplinary offence.
33. Internet usage
The purpose of this policy is to ensure the proper use of Giambrone Law ILP’s Internet and email system by its employees, contractors, part-time employees, volunteers, and other individuals (hereafter referred to as ‚users‛) who are provided with access to the system.
Users will only be provided with such access to the Internet and email system as is necessary to carry out their specified roles or business purpose with Giambrone Law ILP and only if they abide by all applicable rules. Users who are in violation of this policy may be removed from the email system and be subject to disciplinary action.
Email and Internet access is a tool for business communications, and users have the responsibility to use this resource in an efficient, effective, ethical and lawful manner.
Email communications should follow the same standards expected in written business communications and public meetings. All messages should be constructed professionally (spelling, grammar), politely and efficiently (subject filed, attachments).
Caution should be taken to ensure that messages are addressed to the appropriate recipient. It is easy to inadvertently address email messages incorrectly.
All messages to and from clients must be printed and filed.
All email accounts maintained on the email systems are the sole property of Giambrone Law ILP. Giambrone Law ILP has the right to monitor any user’s email and Internet access record for legitimate business reasons, including compliance with this policy, where there is reasonable suspicion of any activities that are in breach of this policy.
Giambrone Law ILP may access / monitor private electronic messages or files of an employee/consultant with good cause, provided that appropriate procedures designed to ensure compliance with the Firm’s policies, are followed. Good cause shall include the need to protect system security, fulfil the firm’s obligations, detect employee/consultant wrongdoing, comply with legal process, or protect the right of property of Giambrone Law ILP. Appropriate procedures shall
include reviews by senior Firm managers to ensure that employee privacy is not infringed without good cause.
Users should be aware that despite the deletion of messages, access to deleted
messages is still possible.
The following use of the email and Internet systems is strictly prohibited:
The exchange of proprietary information, trade secrets or any other privileged information including information relating to any potential or actual litigation, confidential or sensitive information.
Downloading any pornographic material or any other type of offensive material is strictly forbidden and could constitute a criminal offence.
Users must not download any shareware, freeware, trial ware, games, desktop themes or any unauthorised software onto any PC. All software must be approved and installed by a qualified IT specialist.
The creation and exchange of non-work related communications, chain letters, hoaxes and other unsolicited email.
The creation and exchange of information in violation of any copyright laws or other intellectual property rights of third parties including registration to list servers without proper authorisation. Subscription to such a service can result in an overload of received messages directly impacting the performance of the email system.
Messages should not be read or sent from another user’s account except under properly approved arrangements.
Users must not compromise the privacy of their password by giving it to others or exposing it to public view.
Giambrone Law ILP’s email system may not be used for illegal or wrongful purposes. This includes the distribution of material which may be, or is, prohibited under an Act of Parliament or any other law including material containing critical or defamatory statements about employees, clients, other companies, organisations or individuals.
Distribution of any material, which depreciates the performance of the email system and servers, is strictly prohibited. This includes sending non-business related attachments, files, and junk mail.
Entering into any contractual obligations or pre-contractual obligations or representations, which bind the Company without prior authorisation, is also prohibited.
Breaches of this policy may result in users being removed from the email and Internet system and disciplinary action being taken, which may include dismissal.
Acceptance of gifts
Employees/Consultants must not accept directly or indirectly any payment or any other benefit or things of value of more that nominal value from any supplier or customer or from anyone else with any actual or perspective business relationship with the Firm.
Friendships may develop between clients and employees. However, any relationship between a customer and an employee which is likely to jeopardise business relations in the Firm is not acceptable. Employees must use their common sense to avoid any actual relationships.
Parental Leave and time off for dependents
The Firm will comply with local legislation in relation to employee’s rights to parental leave and time off for dependants.
The Firm will comply with local legislation in relation to employeeâ€™s rights to maternity leave and time off for dependants.
The Firm will comply with local legislation in relation to employeeâ€™s rights to paternity leave and time off for dependants.
The Firm recognises that, as a responsible employer, it has obligations to ensure that its employees/consultants are able to maintain an effective balance of their obligations in relation to work and home commitments.
The provision of flexible working can also be beneficial to the firm through retention of skills and abilities within its workforce.
The firm also recognises that a positive approach to flexible working applications can enhance staff morale, retention rates and assist in the reduction in recruitment costs.
The firm will look positively at such applications but employees must understand that there will be occasions when an application has to be rejected for relevant reasons, in those circumstances the company will seek to find a mutually suitable alternative although that may not always be possible.
The Firm will comply with local legislation in relation to retirement rights of its employees.